It’s not easy to take good selfies. Just ask Flytographer’s founder!

The idea for Flytographer was inspired by a trip to Paris in 2011 with two best friends. Founder Nicole Smith wanted to come home with one good photo that captured their adventure together while also showcasing the beauty of the city. The idea was born.

She remembers thinking: “Try as we might, we just couldn’t get a decent selfie or photo taken by a stranger to save our lives. I mean, we’ve all been there, right? The results displayed seven chins, heads cut off, weird angles, bad lighting… and I was always too embarrassed to ask the kind stranger to retake the photo. 😂”

Flytographer connects people with trusted photographers for fun photo shoots, capturing over three million memories worldwide. The magic of Flytographer is both the experience and the photos. Explore the city with a fun, talented photographer and get wall-worthy photos to relive your trip forever. 

Today, we asked our local photographers to share all the best tips on how to take a good selfie. 📸 💁🏼‍♀️

 

TLDR

  1. Plan for Golden Hour: Golden hour is the best time to take outdoor photographs since your light source is soft, golden, and beautiful. 
  2. Choose Natural Lighting: When choosing natural lighting, stick to soft light and keep the light source in front of you and behind your phone.
  3. Find the Best Angle: If you want a flattering angle, shoot from just above eye level. If you’re looking for a unique angle, shoot from below and lift your chin.
  4. Strike the Perfect Pose: Hold the camera closer to your face and angle your head so that you’re not snapping the photo straight on.
  5. Confidence Is Key: Treat yourself! Get your hair done, dress in your favourite outfit, or get a mani/pedi to feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin.
  6. Don’t Forget the Outfit: Half of feeling good is looking good, so pick an outfit that fills you with confidence and makes you want to strut your stuff.
  7. Pick a Prop: Up your selfie game by utilizing what’s available in your environment. Take a selfie with a coffee, next to a tree, or wearing a stylish hat. 
  8. Celebrate Your Surroundings: Selfies can incorporate the background to create a better sense of place, so choose a location that reflects your personality.
  9. Include Some With Loved Ones: Selfies are more fun with friends or family! There are more options for poses and way more opportunities to laugh, be silly, and have fun.
  10. Hire a Flytographer to Capture Your Memories: You don’t have to do it alone! You can save time and capture the perfect shots with Flytographer.

Photo: Cho in Tokyo for Flytographer. Hark and partner capture memories in Tokyo with a proposal photoshoot in Shinjuku Gyoen Park.

1. Plan for Golden Hour

Golden hour is the absolute best time of day to take outdoor photographs—full stop. Golden hour, also known as magic hour, occurs twice a day, during the hour right after sunrise and the hour right before sunset. This is when the colour temperature of daylight shifts to the red end of the spectrum, and the sun’s low angle casts beautiful red-gold light across the sky. 🌅🌇

That is to say, golden hour makes everything and everyone in the picture look that much more gorgeous. There’s less direct sunlight—definitely something to avoid when taking a selfie—and there are fewer harsh shadows to get in the way. Your light source is soft, golden, and beautiful, and if you plan your selfie for sunrise, you’ll encounter way fewer photo bombers. 💥

To ensure you catch golden hour at its peak, use a weather app to determine exactly when sunset or sunrise will take place, and be sure to give yourself plenty of time to find the perfect backdrop. 

Photo: Allie in Los Angeles for Flytographer. Rebecca and partner capture memories in Los Angeles with a honeymoon photoshoot at Santa Monica Pier & Beach.

2. Choose Natural Lighting

Good lighting is the foundation of every great photo. It’s all explained by this simple equation: best lighting = best photos. Well, okay, maybe it’s slightly more complicated than that. 

There are two kinds of light in photography—soft light and harsh light. While there’s a time and place for both, soft light is easier to work with and more flattering for selfies. If you’re looking to take some selfies in the great outdoors, use shadows and clouds to your advantage. While you may initially be disappointed that it’s cloudy in your selfie, clouds and shadows create a diffuse, soft light that is much gentler on our features. 

Harsh light is just that—harsh! Think of how a ring light makeup mirror makes your pores and blemishes resemble the surface of the moon. Not the best look for a selfie! 🌕 Harsh light is typically found in the middle of a sunny day when the sun is high and bright, creating harsh shadows and hard lines. We never recommend booking a Flytographer photoshoot in the middle of the day, so the same goes for your natural light selfies. 

When it comes to taking selfies in soft light, keep the light source in front of you and behind your phone. If the mood strikes you and you want to snap a selfie in harsh light, look for shadows cast by a tall building or tree. Unless you’re Clint Eastwood, squinting does not make for a great selfie. 

Check out more of our natural lighting tips for iPhone photography. 📱

Photo: Aly in Victoria for Flytographer. Emma captures memories in Victoria with a solo adventure photoshoot at Botanical Beach.

3. Find the Best Angle

Experiment with different angles. What’s the selfie angle that works for you? What angle brightens your face, makes you look engaging, fun, mysterious, or whatever you desire? If you’re having trouble deciding, ask a trusted family member, friend, or your partner. What do they think is your most flattering angle? 

If you’re too distracted by your own face using the front-facing camera on your phone, experiment with the back camera. The world is your oyster when it comes to selfies, as new camera apps and photo editing features continue to be added all the time. Check out portrait mode, which creates a depth-of-field effect that allows you to capture photos with a sharp focus on your face coupled with a blurred background. 

If flattering angles are the name of the game, shoot from just above eye level. If you’re looking for more of a unique angle, shoot from below and lift your chin. What’s most important is finding the angle you’re most comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to experiment! 

Photo: Julia in Newport Beach for Flytographer. Sandra and family capture memories in Newport Beach with a birthday photoshoot at Balboa Pier.

4. Strike the Perfect Pose

Smiling and holding your phone at arms length isn’t your only option when it comes to posing for your selfie. There are many different selfie poses, such as laughing, voguing, being silly, capturing yourself on the move, looking pensive, and so much more. 

To capture the perfect pose, hold the camera closer to your face and angle your head so that you’re not snapping the photo straight on. Next, look down and think of the emotion you want to convey. If it’s happiness, think of a happy moment or a joke, and if it’s sadness, think of the last season of Game of Thrones. As soon as you have your emotion, look up at the camera just before you take the shot to create a natural-looking and flattering downward angle. 

This results in a much better selfie than simply taking a photo of your face straight on, which can create photos that are bland and often unflattering. Looking up at the camera at the last moment helps your facial features look less forced or phony. 😬

Photo: Emily in London for Flytographer. Neha captures memories in London with a solo adventure photoshoot at Covent Garden and Piccadilly.

5. Confidence Is Key

Snapping selfies isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. 🍵 In fact, it can leave some of us shaking in our boots. If the idea of taking pictures of yourself in front of others weirds you out, you may be wondering where you’re supposed to find this confidence. 

If you really want your selfies to pop, don’t be afraid to treat yourself. Get your hair done, dress in your favourite outfit—or better yet, go shopping—get a mani/pedi, have a glass of wine, or whatever you need to do to feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin. A genuine smile or authentic facial expression of any kind makes for a much better photo. Use your selfies to show your true self! 

Read our photoshoot tips to look and feel great on camera

Photo: Stathis & Christina in Santorini for Flytographer. Larran captures memories in Santorini with a solo adventure photoshoot in Fira Village.

6. Don’t Forget the Outfit

This ties into the previous point. Half of feeling good is looking good, so for the best selfie, you need an outfit that fills you with confidence and makes you want—nay, need—to strut your stuff. Dress to feel good. If you can’t get enough of your outfit, take a full-body mirror selfie to really show it off. 

If you’re travelling, remember to wear something that isn’t too restrictive and is appropriate for the climate or terrain. 

Pro tip: Have options. Bring some different accessories, different tops, etc., for quick wardrobe changes if something just isn’t working. You don’t want to travel all the way to your photo spot and spoil golden hour with a wardrobe malfunction. Take a few options with you for insurance. 

Have more questions about what to wear? Check out our style guide! 👗👠🎩

Photo: Aimee in Palma de Mallorca for Flytographer. Dana and friends capture memories in Palma de Mallorca with a birthday photoshoot in Old Town.

7. Pick a Prop

Up your selfie game by using your environment and what you have with you. What’s around that you can interact with? Is there a tree you can lean against or freshly fallen leaves you can lie in? You could snap a selfie with an ice cream or a glass of wine, or you could utilize clothing props by wearing sunglasses, tying a sweater around your shoulders, or choosing an especially stylish hat. 😎

Whatever prop you choose, make sure it’s something you’re comfortable with. While a glass of delicious wine may make you look classy on social media, it won’t be appreciated if your selfie is being used for professional purposes. Also, don’t use sunglasses if the selfie is for your dating profile. While sunglasses can make you look mysterious, your future beau wants to see your eyes.

Photo: Aimee in Palma de Mallorca for Flytographer. Dana and friends capture memories in Palma de Mallorca with a birthday photoshoot in Old Town.

8. Celebrate Your Surroundings

A great selfie can also incorporate the background to create a better sense of place, so choose a location that reflects your personality. If you love to hike and walk through forests, a selfie surrounded by trees is a good fit. 🌳 If you’re a proud city mouse, taking a selfie in front of a famed street sign creates a wonderful background. 🏙️

Outdoor settings are packed with great selfie opportunities, whether it’s a beautiful sunset, a lush green forest, a city skyline, or a favourite local park. There are so many unique locations out there for you to take your pics and blow up your Instagram feed!

Photo: Livushé in Cusco for Flytographer. Bianca captures memories in Cusco with a solo adventure photoshoot in the Historical Centre.

9. Include Some with Loved Ones

Selfies are more fun with friends or family. There are more options for poses and way more opportunities to laugh, be silly, and have fun. Try swapping out who takes the photos to capture different perspectives. If your friend is somehow always able to capture their good side in a perfect selfie, ask them for some pointers.

When taking selfies with friends and family, remember not to focus on the camera too much. Naturally interacting with and enjoying the people around you makes for better selfies because they’re candid and casual. They help show the real you. 

Photo: Kari in New York City for Flytographer. Susan and friends capture memories in New York City with a friends photoshoot in Central Park.

10. Hire a Flytographer to Capture Your Memories

You don’t have to do it alone! If incorporating these selfie tips, fiddling with your iPhone camera settings, and using a selfie stick still seems unappealing, never fear. You can save time and capture the perfect shots with Flytographer! We connect you with local photographers around the world for a once-in-a-lifetime photoshoot. 

Capturing magical memories is kind of our jam here at Flytographer, and we can’t wait to capture you and your loved ones now, again, and again in the future! 🔁

Photo: Sergiy in Verona for Flytographer. Sondra captures memories in Verona with a solo adventure photoshoot in Piazza dei Signori.

Capture the Perfect Photo Every Time

Flytographer pairs you with professional portrait and landscape photographers from all over the world for a unique photo session set with the backdrop of your global adventure. No more missed moments, out-of-focus faces, or uncomfortable poses! Check our location database for the full list of Flytographer destinations.